Australians Answer Americans' Dumb Questions
BuzzFeed Oz volunteered to answer our American colleagues' burning questions. Turns out they're really confused about Australia.
Where do people actually live in Australia?
"Almost entirely in the suburbs — in huge, one-storey homes on massive blocks."
"Actually in caves underground. It's to stop the crocodiles from eating us. (Part of this is a lie.)"
"We live in eyesight of the water so we escape all the things trying to kill us. But in the water is stuff trying to kill us."
"All around the outside. Most of us haven't been to the middle."
"There's a middle?"
Why did I spend so many years thinking Australia was so close to New Zealand when it's actually far? Why isn't Australia closer to New Zealand?
"Well, to answer your first question, I would say you have the American schooling system to thank for your poor understanding of geography. I know where Canada is. You should know where New Zealand is."
"Would you like some aloe vera for that burn?"
"Define close. We call it The Ditch. A three-hour flight across it? Not long enough."
"I love New Zealand."
"It's not closer because of tectonic plates and currents 'n' shit. Do we have to go into this?"
Has anyone ever really been to Tasmania? Is Tasmania a real place?
"Yes. But we don't like to talk about it."
"Yeah, it's full of devils and great art. And bushy forests if you know what I mean. *wink*"
"Apparently it's really cold, which isn't really very Australian."
"All you can eat is apples."
"I went once and all we did was walk. Which, if you like walking, is perfect. I do not."
"Poor Tasmania. It always gets forgotten."
Why do you like Vegemite?
"If you're Australian you eat Vegemite and butter on your toast. Simple."
"Because it tastes good. The same reason you like that awful pre-mixed PB&J."
"It's salty and delicious and let's us know who not to trust."
"It's like pure salt, and if you don't think that's awesome you're wrong."
"Don't tell anyone, but I don't. Marmite is a far superior product. Sssh."
"Back to the UK for you!"
"I just don't even know what to believe any more."
What are your thoughts on Outback Steakhouse? Are fried onions really an Australian delicacy?
"This has to be some of the most made up bullshit in the world… what the heck is a Bloomin' Onion?"
"Christ. I did a whole post on this."
"Outback Steakhouse is an abomination."
"When I went to one in America the steak was OK I guess. But it comes out on a wooden board with a bread roll. That's it. Cool."
Does anyone actually drink Foster's?
"You guys, when you come here."
"No. Like, you seriously can't even buy it. I've tried. I'm not sure why we can't even buy it."
"I've never seen it for sale in Australia. Isn't it brewed in Newcastle, England?"
"Probably. That would explain why it tastes like crap."
"Yeah, just another product exploiting how awesome we are."
"It's like wine. Keep the good stuff and send the bottom of the barrel back to Blighty."
Are those burgers with the beets and pineapple and all that shit really that good?
"Pineapple = yes. Beetroot = no."
"Meh, I like my burgers how I like my cars. Without beetroot."
"A burger without beetroot is like Hugh Jackman without abs. It just shouldn't happen."
Do you have Dunk-a-Roos in Australia?
"I think. Like, in the 90s?"
"Yes. They were my childhood. My lonely, single-child childhood."
"Yeah, they are ballin'."
"OK but for real can you get them now? Coz now I want to eat them. Seriously, are they for sale?"
"Yeah, get out of your hipster bubble and go to a proper supermarket."
"Dunk-a-whats? Dunk-a-Roos look like they were invented by Scooby-Doo."
How common is eating kangaroo? And are those kangaroos raised on farms like cows or caught in the wild?
"Daily. We kill them with our bare hands."
"Pretty sure you can go into the country and get paid to kill them."
"For reals we should eat more of it. They are at pest levels in Australia. And we cull them. And the meat is really gamey and strong tasting. Kangaroo sausages are delicious."
"You generally need to slow cook the meat. IMO."
"They're the leanest meat on the planet, not an ounce of fat, beautiful with beetroot."
"I also love kangaroo and beetroot…or as I call it Roo & Root."
"I refuse to eat Skippy."
"Skippy is dead. Move on."
"YOU'RE DEAD TO ME."
Koalas: tell me everything.
"Stoned. The entire time. Twenty-three hours asleep then wake up grumpy and looking for a fight."
"Meh... They are Australia's pandas. they probably should be dead because they are super lazy and we spend heaps of money keeping them alive."
"They are smellier than a coat you have eaten, slept, and shat in for your entire life."
"Basically cats. Really tired cats that don't move."
"Also they feel like...idk. Nothing feels quite like a koala. Hey that'd be a good children's book. *Writes down idea*"
"Forget koalas. What you really need to know about is drop bears. They're the ones that can kill you."
"Agree, drop bears. There you are having a great day, and then BANG, you've been dropped on."
How much of Australia's flora and fauna will actually kill you?
"Six out of seven of the world's most dangerous snakes. Nine out of 10 of the world's worst spiders. Safe to say all of it."
"Ninety-nine percent of native animals. As soon as you get off the plane. Actually, sometimes there are poisonous snakes ON THE PLANE. Be warned. Do not come."
"Why do you think so many of us hide in the cities?"
"Our ultra-conservative government will likely deliver you a fate worse than death. They are to be feared, not our critters."
"Look, most of us survive. So that's good odds."
What's it like living in constant fear of bugs and snakes that will eat you in your sleep?
"You just never sleep"
"Sleep is for the weak. And the dead."
"TBH I'm more scared I'll eat them in my sleep."
Dingoes: Real, daily issue for babies, or just that one time?
"We sacrifice babies to dingoes, White Walker-style."
"Dingoes are actually an important part of the ecosystem's balance. They are awesome animals."
Is it actually safe to go scuba diving or will a microscopic squid murder me?
"Just wear chainmail armour. You'll be right."
"Yeah, those microscopic things get in your junkhole."
"Never been. Never will."
"I like to stay in the shallows."
"The Great Barrier Reef is the greatest living organism on the planet. Nothing to worry about, apart from the sharks, sea snakes, stonefish, pufferfish, and cone shells."
What are you supposed to do when you encounter a kangaroo?
"Roll up your sleeves and fight. Or stop your car and clean off the mess."
"Send in Rolf Harris."
"Usually the only time you encounter them is when you're driving at 100km/hr down the highway and they say it's best not to slow down and risk the other cars around you. So kill the kangaroo. Kill it right in its face."
"Just box it. Our national mascot is the boxing kangaroo. So just fists up,"
"I'm really sad to be working with you guys right now."
Have you ever seen inside a kanga's pouch? What's it like in there? Is it warm?
"I would imagine it's like one big furry vagina on your chest."
"That's it. That's what it's like."
"Damn, that sounds lovely."
"You can be arrested for penetrating a kangaroo's pouch"
"You know that how?"
"This concerns me."
Do you swim with sharks?
"With great pleasure. Most sharks are actually scared of humans. You just need to watch out for the one who isn't. Actually, he'll get you first, so no worries."
"Yeah just swim faster than the sharks,"
"Anytime you swim in the ocean you are swimming with sharks. Idiot."
"Yeah, same method as with a kangaroo… Punch it in the damn face"
What survival tips would you give a tourist visiting Australia?
"Try your best not to be a cunt. In a nice way."
"Yeah, but you can be a mad cunt… "
"Yes. That is correct. Mad cunts, sick cunts. That's all good."
How do you feel when people bring up Steve Irwin?
"Misty-eyed. Then bored."
"Heartbroken… OR SHOULD I SAY STABBED."
"Probably the same way you feel when people bring up, like, Patrick Swayze? Idk."
"Why did you mention Patrick Swayze?! Now I'm crying."
Do you guys ever speak of Crocodile Dundee?
"No. And if you do you get sent to Tasmania."
"That's not an answer… THIS IS AN ANSWER!"
"Only when we're talking about how dumb Americans are to believe that shit."
"I swam with the main croc in Croc Dundee. It's like a billion years old and nearly dead. And he likes chicken."
"Way to name drop."
"What a croc bragger."
Exactly how much do people give a shit about Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert?
"Your mum and dad maybe."
"The youth give a 0% amount of fucks."
"Yeah, no fucks."
"What? Who are you people? I GIVE ALL THE FUCKS. They are the greatest movies on Earth, not counting Strictly Ballroom and The Castle."
Do Australians feel like it's weird that so few cast members of Lost were Australian when the flight originated in Sydney?
"Hmm... Now that you mention it."
"I refused to watch it on principle."
"The weirdest thing is how many people kept watching that show after season two."
"Wasn't Harold Holt in Lost?"
How do you live without Netflix?
"We don't. We're the biggest illegal downloaders on Earth."
"Don't scare them away. We love you Netflix. Please come here."
Are you tired of losing all your best actors to the States?
"You think those are our best? Ha! You should see the ones we keep!"
"Hollaaaa Alf Stewart."
"'Losing' and 'infiltrating' are very different things."
"It beats them all going to England."
"Besides, many of them are antisemites... You can have them."
"Oh wait, was that a Mel Gibson joke?"
"Yeah, 2005 throwback jokes."
"We'll take Cate Blanchett back. She's the greatest."
"Man, Hugh Jackman is pretty ace though as well."
"You can keep Sam Worthington."
"Please. Please keep Sam."
"Sam 'I'm-just-a-regular-Aussie-bloke-in-work-boots-but-I-went-to-NIDA' Worthington."
"He's pretty bangin' though."
Are Australian people all more attractive or do you just hide the unattractive ones?
"That's what Tasmania is for."
"Have you ever seen an unattractive Aussie? Case closed."
"We. Are. Babes."
"We have really good PR people. I think they worked on Obama's first campaign."
What do you really think of the Hemsworths?
"I think about them quite often, actually."
"The third brother is underrated."
"My feeling towards the Hemsworths is that they are all the same person and we've perfected cloning."
"None of them have been in films I am impressed with."
"Clearly you haven't seen Thor."
What are you thoughts on Hugh Jackman?
"He totally bombed hosting the Oscars."
"I thought he did a great Oscars job… I think Seth MacFarlane was an abomination."
"+1 he was great. Did you see James Franco?! Ugh."
"I would take a bullet for Hugh Jackman"
"His shower scene in Australia gives me a lady-boner."
"Think you mean man-boner. Ahem."
FMK Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman.
"This would be the greatest threesome in history."
"F: Naomi, M: Hugh, K: Nicole."
"F: Hugh, M: Naomi and K: Nicole Because if not, she's going to live forever because she's like a cockroach."
"Same, except for the whole cockroach thing. I do like Nicole. But if it was between her, Naomi and Hugh — well, sorry Nicole."
"Woof, more like Nicole Killman."
Who is the most famous/beloved Australian?
"Tie between Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe."
Rupert Murdoch — why??
"I ask myself this question on a daily basis."
"You tell us. He's been an American since 1985."
"Yeah he's not ours anymore, guys. He's yours."
"The world needs bad people. It's a sad truth."
Neknomination - why??
"Australia took that Kevin Spacey Pay It Forward movie too far."
"Because we don't have Netflix."
"Because just getting drunk is so American."
Do you wear khaki shorts IRL like in the movies?
"Only for nine months of the year."
"Khakis for durability and they make you look more tanned. You should all try it."
"If I have to."
"It's actually illegal to wear any other kind of shorts."
Do schoolboys in Australia really have to wear shorts like the guy in AC/DC?
"Wait, you guys don't wear shorts?"
"I did for, like, 14 years. Was a pretty good 14 years. Can't complain except I peaked way too early."
"Private-school boys have to wear them. When it's hot it's actually pretty dope."
"We should have said AC/DC for beloved Australians… dammit."
What's the deal with the AFL uniforms?
"They're a gift to the universe."
"Real men have their guns smokin' at all times."
"Because NFL pads are for pussies."
"We wear vests in winter for footy and long-sleeved shirts in summer for cricket. Just makes sense."
How much of that episode of The Simpsons where they go to Australia is realistic? Is "booting" a thing?
"I'm concerned by how much of that episode informs the world about Australia."
"Yeah. My understanding was that Fox actually got in trouble for this episode and its depiction of Australia. I remember reading something about it. Oh well. The Simpsons is just a vehicle for Murdoch to subconsciously brainwash the masses into a false sense of security. Illuminati."
"That's exactly what a gross government shill would say. Trying to belittle the truth so it doesn't get out there. Kinda sad, really."
"Booting is a word used to describe vomiting. I love a good boot."
"Is that a fact or did you make that up?"
"Boot = vomit."
Which way does water really go down the drain?
"Let me go check."
"One way half the year, the other the other."
You guys seem to travel SO MUCH, like, 10 times more than Americans, why do you think that is?
"We have passports. Also we like to fuck in foreign places, not fuck them up. See: Contiki Tours."
"Fucking in foreign places is *so good*."
"We live a long way from things. We need to see if we are missing out on anything. We're not."
"We get like four to six weeks leave a year. Why not use it in different places?"
"When you spend months on the road, meeting Americans on their one annual one-week vacation, you kinda wonder why the US is called 'the land of the free.'"
What is it like to leave your country to travel for months at a time?
"Highlight of the year."
"Awesome. As soon as you get there everyone's like, 'Be careful you can't plead ignorance you know the rules,' but you totally can."
"You kinda have to do this because you spend so long getting anywhere in the first place and spend a fortune in the process, you've got to make it worth your while."
"It makes me love Australia even more every time I come back."
I have heard before that Australians as a people are particularly racist. Is this true or an exaggeration? How does it compare to the United States?
"Note: this is not a dumb question."
"Mmmm yes. We are racist. Not as extreme as your extreme racists (no race hate killings) but we have a serious problem with immigration."
"Well there was that whole White Australia policy."
"And the way Europeans basically tried to wipe out Indigenous Australians. Eek."
"Tony Abbott. Look him up. We elected that man."
"Our racism is of the everyday variety."
"We are upper North Carolina level racist, on the NC-Florida scale of racism."
"It's one of our downsides, that's for sure."
Are you more flattered or more insulted when someone mistakes your accent for British?
"If you get confused for a Brit it usually means you're not Australian enough and too upper class and posh. Most definitely an insult."
"Usually just give in and make up a backstory. Yay! I get to be the dream version of me!"
"What dream version of you is British?"
Can you tell the difference between an Australian accent and a Kiwi accent? What are some giveaway words they say that you don't?
"Can you tell the difference between an American and Canadian accent?"
"I think we can, eh?"
"Fushhhh and chupppps (fish and chips)."
"Ivahtah = Avatar."
"Sweet As, Bro."
Is New Zealand Australia's Canada?
"Yes. Exactly. And Canada is New Zealand's Canada."
"I would say Australia is New Zealand's Canada. Think about that."
Are you all descendants of prisoners, y/n?
"If you are it's like a badge of honour"
"I am descended from pizza."
"I am descended from pastizzi."
"I am descended from haggis."
As a bunch of Irish slaves turned convicts sentenced to a hellhole continent, how can you stand having the tyrant Queen lord over you?
"She's pretty hot."
"Yeah, I'd like to put a little prince in her."
"Bow down, bitches."
Did you try to smoke eucalyptus as a young person?
"Eucalyptus bongs give you the biggest hit of your life. And clear your sinuses."
"Yeah, PREACH the eucalypt bong!"
"I actually did. It is horrible. Never again."
"I only tried to play the leaves like an instrument and I failed hard."
Is the leader of your country really a reptilian humanoid?
"Yes. This is a proven fact."
"Don't be stupid. That's exactly what the reptilians want us to think. You think the reptilian master-race would be dumb enough to employ him as their key weapon in Australia? Fool. The real reptilians walk among us, like strangers, watching everything we do. There's probably one next to you right now. No. Not on your right. Your left."
"He's like George W. Bush. So yes. Yes, very much"
"Have you ever seen Tony Abbott and David Icke in the same room?"
To what extent does it bother you that people elsewhere really seem to have no realistic perception of what Australia is like?
"It bothers me that not enough people are aware of drop bears. It's a serious issue in Australia. They take thousands of lives every year. Mostly tourists."
"I like the mystique of being Aussie. Your stereotypes make us out to be dangerous babes."
"Well, that's accurate though."
Seeing the alarming lack of knowledge your colleagues have about your home, do you wish The Lord of the Rings had never filmed there or...?
"We eat hobbits for breakfast"
"They go very well with kiwi fruit"
"Doesn't really bother us. Kinda like that Seven Samurai movie you guys put out."